What is PPD (Postpartum depression) ?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a major form of depression and is less common than postpartum blues. PPD includes all the symptoms of depression but occurs only following childbirth. It can begin any time after delivery and can last up to a year. PPD is estimated to occur in approximately 10 to 20 percent of new mothers.
What are the symptoms of PPD?
Symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) are not the same for every woman.
Sadness is only one symptom of PPD. Some women may be more aware of an increase in anxiety and irritability. Only your healthcare provider can determine if you have PPD.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor right away:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
- Crying more often than usual
- Worrying or feeling overly anxious
- Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
- Oversleeping or being unable to sleep when your baby is asleep
- Having trouble concentrating and making decisions
- Frequent feelings of anger or rage
- Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
- Suffering from physical aches and pains
- Eating too little or too much
- Avoiding friends and family
- Having trouble bonding with your baby
- Persistently doubting your ability to care for your baby
- Thinking about harming yourself or your baby
With postpartum psychosis — a rare condition that typically develops within the first week after delivery — the signs and symptoms are severe. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Obsessive thoughts about your baby
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Sleep disturbances
- Excessive energy and agitation
- Attempts to harm yourself or your baby
Postpartum psychosis may lead to life-threatening thoughts or behaviors and requires immediate treatment.
PPD Causes & Risk Factors
There’s no single cause of postpartum depression, but physical and emotional issues may play a role.
Physical changes. After childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your body may contribute to postpartum depression. Other hormones produced by your thyroid gland also may drop sharply — which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed.
Emotional issues. When you’re sleep deprived and overwhelmed, you may have trouble handling even minor problems. You may be anxious about your ability to care for a newborn. You may feel less attractive, struggle with your sense of identity or feel that you’ve lost control over your life. Any of these issues can contribute to postpartum depression.
Any new mom can experience postpartum depression and it can develop after the birth of any child, not just the first. However, your risk increases if:
- You have a history of depression, either during pregnancy or at other times
- You have bipolar disorder
- You had postpartum depression after a previous pregnancy
- You have family members who’ve had depression or other mood disorders
- You’ve experienced stressful events during the past year, such as pregnancy complications, illness or job loss
- Your baby has health problems or other special needs
- You have twins, triplets or other multiple births
- You have difficulty breast-feeding
- You’re having problems in your relationship with your spouse or significant other
- You have a weak support system
- You have financial problems
- The pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted
Treatment and recovery time vary, depending on the severity of your depression and your individual needs. If you have an underactive thyroid or an underlying illness, your doctor may treat those conditions or refer you to the appropriate specialist. Your doctor may also refer you to a mental health professional.
Innovative PPD (Postpartum depression) Treatment with Ketamine
A traditional course of treatment for mothers diagnosed with postpartum depression is antidepressant medications. The biggest limitation of antidepressants such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) is that the drug can enter the breast milk when breastfeeding. Furthermore, it can take one to two months for the medications to take full effect and may result in various unpleasant side effects.
Looking at these drawbacks, physicians are increasingly turning to Ketamine Infusion Therapy as a promising alternative to conventional treatments for postpartum depression. Ketamine Therapy has proven to have a high success rate treating mood disorders and it is fast-acting with little to no risk to the child. The symptoms of postpartum depression can be eliminated within a matter of days instead of weeks.
Furthermore, the mother does not have to become dependent on a drug to maintain a stable mood. In many cases, the patient may only require as few as six infusions of Ketamine Therapy to achieve sustainable relief for several months. That provides her with plenty of time to develop a healthy bond with the newborn and reassess her long-term treatment options, if required.
In many cases, while Ketamine Infusion Therapy works to address the postpartum depression symptoms, the mother’s hormones and other PPD contributing factors would have stabilized. Therefore, they would not require any further treatment.
For more information about Ketamine Infusion Therapy treatments for depression, bipolar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), fibromyalgia, pain syndromes and other conditions contact us at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in Southern California (Orange County) by clicking here or calling 310-270-0625.